Park to hold events leading up to Confederate Memorial Day

Published 3:23 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

Civil War re-enactors and the unveiling of two rare battle flags will bring visitors to Confederate Memorial Park next weekend.

The festivities on April 20-21 are leading up to Alabama’s official Confederate Memorial Day, on April 23.

On Friday, April 20, about 50 re-enactors or living historians from across the state will meet at the park. Dressed in replica Civil War clothing, the re-enactors will form about 12 stations where visitors can stop for a few minutes and learn more about the time period, said Bill Rambo, site director at Confederate Memorial Park.

Up close-and-personal demonstrations will include infantry, cavalry, artillery, commissary, soldier life, uniforms, flags, weapons and civilian life, among others.

Rambo said the event usually draws many school children as well as individuals who enjoy Civil War history. Last year, more than 600 people attended the event, Rambo said.

The event began in 2010.

A new addition this year will be a replica war barracks building. The facility is still under construction but has been approved for use by a building inspector, Rambo said.

“I think it’s going to be finished by next weekend, completely,” he said.

Visitors will rotate among the various stations from 9-11:30 a.m. After a 30-minute lunch break for the re-enactors, the demonstrations will resume at noon and last until 2:30 p.m.

Rambo said maps will be available so that visitors don’t miss any of the demonstrations.

On Saturday, April 21, two authentic Alabama Confederate battle flags will be seen in the state for the first time since the Civil War.

The 31st Alabama Infantry and the 45th Alabama Infantry regimental flags were captured by Iowa troops in two separate vicious battles during the war, Rambo said.

“They took them back to Iowa, and they’ve been there ever since,” he said. “This took two years of negotiations. They’re on loan from the state of Iowa. They’re just neat stories in themselves.”

A brief speech about the flags will be given at 1 p.m. out front of the museum, and then visitors will be allowed to go inside and see the flags.

The museum’s normal $5 admission charge will be waived for the day.